NBA

Celtics vs. Warriors NBA Finals Game 3 picks, betting odds: Boston should rebound; stick with the under

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With the 2021-22 NBA regular season now in the books, the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will be providing daily picks for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game between now and the NBA Finals. All lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Featured Game | Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors

If you’re picking Boston in Game 3, don’t do it because of home-court advantage. Boston has been a better road team (8-3) this postseason than home team (5-4). No, I’m leaning Boston for a few other reasons. First of all … I have to imagine Daniel Theis is banished after his abominable defensive performance in Game 2. The Celtics seem to be figuring out that going small is their best bet against the Warriors. Marcus Smart playing just 25 minutes in Game 2 was concerning, but Payton Pritchard has done an admirable job defensively thus far. We’re also overdue for a Stephen Curry clunker. He’s been to the Finals five times and has five games below 25 percent from 3. At his volume, those games become very difficult to win. Boston’s defense has done a great job of stifling Golden State’s motion. If this turns into another pick-and-roll-athon as the third quarter of Game 2 did, odds are, the Warriors won’t hit quite so many shots. The pick: Celtics -3.5

Game 2 totaled just 195 points despite both teams making over 40 percent of their 3-pointers. That should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of defense in this series. Gary Payton II coming back gave the Warriors yet another weapon on the perimeter, and Draymond Green spent plenty of Game 2 on Jaylen Brown as well. We’re headed for five more rock fights in this series. The pick: Under 212.5

If we’re operating under the assumption that Boston is going to play more small-ball minutes, then grabbing any Derrick White line you like would be a wise approach. The scoring line is tempting here. It’s set at just 11.5 points — a total he’s beaten in five of his past six games — but some of that has relied on unsustainable shooting. Why not insulate yourself a bit from a poor shooting night by taking his combined points-rebounds-assists total? That way, you get a boost if Smart’s ankle really prevents him from playing major minutes, as White would then take on a bigger playmaking load, and if the Celtics are going smaller, White will have an easier time pulling in a few stray rebounds as well. The pick: White over 17.5 combined points, rebounds and assists

The eye test is telling me not to bet Jordan Poole props right now. His scoring in Game 2 largely came beyond the arc, and he’s a fairly inconsistent shooter. Off the dribble, he’s struggling to get by Payton Pritchard. That’s concerning. But this line has just shifted too low for me to ignore. Poole was held below 13 points in just 20 of his 76 regular-season games and six of his 18 playoff games. With Klay Thompson also struggling, the Warriors just need too much offense not to let Poole take enough shots to reach this total inefficiently. The pick: Poole over 12.5 points

Grant Williams averaged just under five 3-point attempts per game in his first 16 playoff games. He’s taken a total of three in his past four games, which totaled nearly 85 combined minutes. He’s getting fewer minutes in this matchup because of his struggles defensively. While he’s a capable switcher against most opponents, he’s had trouble chasing Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson around screens after two rounds of interior battling with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bam Adebayo. If Williams is playing less and hardly shooting when he does play, the odds are in your favor if you bet on him not making a shot. The pick: Williams under 0.5 3-pointers



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